TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -The UAE claimed on Monday that Qatari fighter jets had intercepted an Emirati civilian plane en route to Bahrain, a move it alleged was in direct contravention of international law. Qatari authorities have denied the allegations.
The UAE condemned the alleged incident and said it would take all necessary and legal measures to protect its civilian aircraft. Its General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) described the incident as "a flagrant and dangerous threat to the safety of civil aviation, as well as a blatant violation of international laws and agreements," according to the state news agency WAM.
A spokesperson for the Qatari Foreign Ministry denied the reports in an interview with Al Jazeera TV, Reuters reports.
It is not clear whether the interception forced the civilian flight to change course, and Qatar has yet to provide any official reaction to reports of the incident. It was a routine and scheduled flight that conformed with international aviation law.
If verified, such a move would be a clear escalation of the ongoing diplomatic spat in the region, following the blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates in June amid allegations that Qatar was a state-sponsor of extremist groups.